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Another One Bites the Dust

Tom Porton, a high school English teacher in the Bronx with over 40 years of experience quit teaching. Yeah, so what? If you haven’t already read this NYT piece about Porton, you should.
Twenty-five years ago AIDS was a serious issue in low socio-economic areas nationwide, and the Bronx was no different. Porton thought the most effective preventative measure was an education, and so he teamed up with Montefiore Medical Center to educate his students. Since then, he’s distributed an AIDS educational flier to his students annually. His efforts have earned him national recognition, including a spot in the National Teachers Hall of Fame.

In additon to staging plays and dramas, Porton also teaches a civic leadership class that meets before school. His students hone their leadership skills and connect to their local community (which includes feeding the homeless). It’s no surprise his students praise him as a life-changer and continue to nominate him for awards.

Brendan Lyons, Porton’s princi…
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The Zuck Stops Here

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"Then the researchers divided students into groups depending on the number of books in their homes, a measure of the academic resources at families’ disposal. This adjustment significantly reduced the American deficit, especially among students on the bottom rungs of the resource ladder.  American students from families with the least educational resources, as it turned out, scored better on the PISA math test than similar children in France and about the same as Britons, Germans and Irish." These "adjusted" results shouldn't be too surprising for educators entrenched in these realities. We know if we adjust anything for socioeconomic status, we see gains. The issue isn't, "we're doing better…

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Before I continue, I must first disclose I’m not against the “idea” of data day. Nor am I against measuring class data to inform and guide instruction. Quite the contrary actually — when I was in the classroom, I triangulated data from a variety of sources (including my own “teacher hunches”) and then made informed instructional decisions.

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